My 25th Birthday

Celebrating my 25th with friends.

So, this weekend I turned 25 years old. For a hot minute I was not really looking forward to being 25 and every time I said it I added a fake whiny cry. It wasn’t after speaking with my friend, Evelyn (the one in blue) that it hit me that 25 is a great age. Maybe it’s the outlook she gave herself on this specific age or just her excitement on the fascination of being 25 years old, but regardless, it changed my perspective on it.

Last week I joined her and a friend for Happy Hour and with all the “25” talk I mentioned that I had read Jen’s post on being 26. It inspired me to make a list of my own. Her’s on things she looks forward to, but I want to do mine on things I want to do… 25 things to be exact.  There is no particular order, but I really can’t wait to get my list started. I haven’t had a sit down yet, but here are a few things that will for sure make my list: 1- complete a triathlon; 2- sky dive; and 3- run in just shorts and sports bra.

Now, on to the festivities of my birthday weekend. My actual birthday was Sunday but I celebrated it on Saturday. My sister gifted me the most beautiful and delicious cake. Here it is!

She brought it out exactly at midnight and it just made my night! For some reason this celebration was extra special. For the first time I felt no worries, no pressures, just lighthearted, free, and … young. I wish to feel this way every year. The people that care for me, that love me, and want the best for me where there (and then some). I had hoped to see a couple of specific faces, but in the end I didn’t want to spoil my night and decided not waste my energy on them.

I thought about what made me feel so happy and elated that day, which by the way I’m still feeling, and I believe it’s because I changed my outlook on age. I have found myself in what feels like borderline depression because I’ve yet to complete my bachelor’s degree, was still living in a rented room in what felt like still living at home, being single, losing focus on my weight-loss and fitness goals, and just dreading getting older and feeling like I’ve done nothing with my life. I know I will complete my degree program, I just have to be patient with life. I am on my own now and it feels great! I know things are not the greatest in my “love sphere” but I am managing better than I thought I would. I have regained most, if not all, my focus on my weight-loss and fitness journey because I remembered why I started. And I have to give myself more credit. I self-doubt, self-loath, and underestimate my abilities too often. I have to be proud of who I am, what I know, and what I do- after all, if I don’t, who will? And if someone tells me, I have to validate that with my own opinion of myself.

Too many people undervalue what they are, and overvalue what they’re not

Happy birthday to me! Happy 25th year to me! and Happy everything to me!

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Doing Things My Way and At My Own Pace

I was talking to my coworkers about some of my latest blog posts and about how I feel I’ve lost a bit of my focus. OK, not a little, but a little more than a little. I mentioned to them how I didn’t even start my 100 Push Ups challenge, didn’t keep up with my plank a day, and didn’t stick entirely to the no soda or sweetened drinks plan. In this post I talk about how I shouldn’t wait for the start of the week, or the start of the month to start something new. But i didn’t take my own advice because I told them that coming Monday I will definitely start anew and truly commit. In fun, but also in all seriousness, my coworker told me that I should read my own blog. That verbal shove, or whatever you want to call it, was what I needed- it’s what I need every now and then.

I pulled out my phone, opened up my 100 Push Ups app and had them spot me do my initial push up test. I completed 11 good form push ups. I personally think that’s bad ass! With those results I was placed in level 3.

with my work badge and everything!

Here’s what I’ve done in two days. Week 1 almost complete!

I am also happy to announce that I cycled yesterday and it was such a liberating ride. It gave me time to think, even though I was focused on keeping a some-what steady pace. I thought about the awesome way I feel after I complete a workout. There really is nothing like it. I woke up in the morning and felt sluggish, but remembering that I have to follow my own advice, I got ready and grabbed my bike. I headed out and immediately felt a surge of happiness and contentedness. This reminded me of all the times I didn’t want to go to the gym, the times I wanted to cancel on my trainer, the times I didn’t want to go running, and in general just all the times I didn’t want to do something and then did. Willing my mind to do something it didn’t for whatever reason- fear of failure, laziness, or simply just not caring- is truly a rush.

Here are my stats through my endomondo app. 9.47 miles in 43m:48s

Avg Speed
13.0 mph
Max Speed
16.6 mph
Calories
616 kcal
Altitude
636 ft / 729 ft

 

Oh, and I didn’t want to make dinner last night, but I did.

It looks kinda gross, but it was really tasty.

I’m wishing the best of luck to myself in all I do.

xx

Monica

Master Cleanse/Lemon Diet

For years I have been wanting to do a cleanse. My older sister and I even contemplated scheduling a colon cleanse (eek!). We didn’t do it- either because of money or I just stopped inquiring cause I was too much of a chicken. I have attempted a cleanse twice in my life. The first one was when I bought Beach Body’s Hip-Hop Abs; it comes with a powder substance and you’re supposed to be on it for 3 days. I only lasted one and a half days on it -.- The second one was the same one but many years later and I failed at it once again.

I have come with determination on this one because I feel icky inside and I want to change that feeling. I’ve read up on many cleanses- water, lemon juice, vegetable, fruit, anything under the sun basically. It was hard to find a reliable source but I came across Zoe’s blog and she really inspired me. I searched everywhere (Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s) for the raw coconut nectar but didn’t find it; the only thing that came close was one with sweetner. I went with her original recipe with the organic maple syrup grade b. I also couldn’t find the grey sea salt so i just opted for a non-iodide crystal sea salt.

I am on day 1. I drank my tea last night and it’s about 8:30a and I haven’t been able to finish the salt water flush; it’s just SO SALTY! I took some pictures and took my weight just so that I can track the changes on paper. I will follow up in 10 days and let you know how it all turned out. I’m so nervous! Send good juju my way please so that I can complete it. The benefits are supposed to be great and to me, they are just a bonus because my ultimate goal is to clean out my insides.

 

BTW: aren’t the lemon pictures refreshing!?

I take no credit for the images.

Hollywood Half Marathon

Hi everyone! I recently ran the Inaugural Hollywood Half Marathon and it was such a great experience. I didn’t start on time (not surprising), but I finished. My time was 2:18:25.2 (my clock time was 2:56 something <- that’s to give you an idea how late I started) – I’m so proud. Can you believe I ran a Marathon before a half? With that said I wasn’t nervous at all and was able to kill the hill.

I took a few pictures along the way of a group of Elvis’, a man running with a watermelon on his head, a lady hula-hooping her way to a world record, a genie, a man as a Marylin Monroe, and Jackie Moon among others. I am definitely going to be running many more Hollywood Half Marathons- I have to, look at the medal!

I feel special and honored to be a part of this inaugural event.

Me after the race taking a self-portrait!

The red carpet! I felt properly dressed and like a STAR!

This was my first race in which I dressed up. The dress I wore was supposed to be my prom dress but because it was made horribly I never wore it. I cut it (waaay) above my knees and thought I looked awesome in it.

I’m running the Nike sponsored SheRunsLA (80’s themed) next Saturday (April 14th) and I’m looking forward to dressing up as well! I’m really on this running bug, aren’t I? Here are some photos of my and my friend’s son who joined me on the race (he was with me, so he was late too :0 ).

PS:

I think I’ve only made it on time for 2 races out of the 5 or 6 I’ve registered for (i say registered and not participated in because I woke up late to the Halloween Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon last year and didn’t make it). EEK!

PSS:

I really need new running shoes. Any suggestions?

The Best Time to Start is Now

I was encouraged by my coworker to start a weightloss blog since I’ve had such great success this past year. It didn’t take much to convince me since I enjoy sharing my weightloss struggles and victories; especially to people who seem to believe I did it overnight using a magical fat-burning pill.

Here is my backstory. I graduated high school in 2005 and throughout those four years, more or less, I was always the heaviest of my friends. I was very self-conscious about how I looked and envied my thinner friends. The craziest thing, though, is that I look at pictures of me back then and I can only wish I looked the same as then. Long story short my heaviest was at 240lbs. Wow! I don’t think I have ever written that out before. I am currently 5 foot 7 inches and weighing 181lbs. I fell off a bit from the weight-losing grid with school and finals and the holidays, but I’ve recently kicked it into high gear again and got myself a personal trainer at the gym and looking forward to the new changes I will be going through.

Below is a bunch of pictures that chronicle my journey thus far.

^ me on my birthday. July 2007. not bad, eh?

^ that’s me in December 2008. I may have a smile on my face, but i was not happy at all.

October 2009

 ^buncha girls celebrating my sisters 21st birthday. look at that arm.

July 2010

^ that’s me celebrating my 22nd birthday. looking mighty _____.

August 2010

^ My friend since middle school. she hasn’t changed, but boy have I?

October 2010

^ I don’t know what to say about this picuture.

December 2010

 ^ I started my weightloss journey in November 2010 and by Christmas I think I had lost about 10-15lbs. Let me tell you WHY I started… My best friend from high school was getting married in May 2011 and she called me to get my address so that she can mail my invitation. I knew this is what I needed because I didn’t want to travel looking like I was and i being with other high school friends who still look amazing, I wouldn’t be able to deal with myself. I hit the gym hard- 5 to 6 times a week. I started walking, then jogging a bit, to straight running for 30 + min non-stop. I was on a roll. I was a soccer player for three years in high school so I knew what it meant to push to get results.

January 2011

^I was so happy this day. a lot of people saw some change, something I wasn’t really seeing in my reflection. I remember feeling so happy about those jeans. I hadn’t bought a pair since, gosh, a long time ago. those were a size 16. can you imagine!? I am currently a size 11/12. YEY ME!

 

February 2011

^but, as you can see, I was still a long way from my goal.

April 2011

^ I remember this day like yesterday. I was getting so many compliments. I believe I had lost about 20-25lbs. can you tell?

May 2011

 ^I was my baby sister’s sponsor for her confirmation. That’s us with our mom.

May 2011

 ^ the wedding that started it all. I was 25-30lbs lighter. 🙂 these girls made the trip so much fun!

June 2011

^never in a million years would I have worn something like this to the beach. these people have been a major support in the work front. they encourage me through compliments and reminders of how far along I’ve come.

June 2011

 ^ I even did my first race with my sister. she pushed me good. look at me, I got 2nd place in my age group.

Halloween 2011

^I’m such a goddess 😉 a whole year later from my 80s Hip-Hop cosutme.

December 2011

^my oldest sister and me on Christmas Eve.. That’s me right now.. just 5 days ago. 60 lbs lighter and feeling good.

My journey has not been easy. I’ve had to balance work, school, the death of my grandpa in may, and the suicide of my cousin in september. I did the gym thing, I did p90x, I did rip60, I did 30min trainer, I ran, I hiked… I did everything. I stopped drinking soda, I cut off white breads, I left tortillas, mayonnaise, cheese, chips, dips, candy, chocolate (I had the occasional bar), whole milk ( I started drinking almond milk). I packed lunch to work, I did the lean cuisines, and fish dinners. It was not easy, but the benefits of these changes are amazingly worth it. I don’t like using the term diets because these changes are not temporary, they are meant to be permanent alterations to my lifestyle. I’ve done a 5k, a 10k, a mud run, and unfortunately missed my half marathon.

I am not going to school this upcoming spring semester 2012 so this is just another time to start anew with my goal. I want to reach 160lbs by summer… my 25th birthday. I can do it, I know I can. the trainer I have been working with this past week shows promise and has already called me a favorite. he knows that if he pushes me hard I can handle it and I can overcome. he even told me he thinks we can reach my goal by spring break if I keep up this pace. AMAZING!

follow me on this journey.